It's never been easier to watch live Premier League football from the comfort of your own home, but are eir Sport and Sky Sports subscriptions good value? The answer may depend on which TV provider you're with.
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We’re just two weeks into the new Premier League season and it already seems like it never left. Arsenal remain on the verge of crisis, Liverpool’s defence is looking leaky and the two Manchester clubs seem set for a season-long battle for top spot.
The way to watch the so-called ‘greatest league in the world’ has changed in many ways, though. We now have Friday Night Football, Sky customers can watch in Ultra HD and eir Sport (formerly Setanta Sports) is no longer available to Virgin Media customers.
Football fans up and down the country have been wondering where to find the best value live football this year. So, let’s take a look at what each sports package is offering this season and, most importantly, what each will cost you.
eir Sport is made up of six channels – eir Sport 1, eir Sport 2, BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2, BT Sport Europe and BT Sport ESPN – and boasts exclusive rights to 42 live Premier League matches this season. The majority of these matches are the popular 5.30pm Saturday kick-offs.
In addition to this, eir Sport offers live coverage of every Champions League and Europa League match this season. This might be particularly appealing to Manchester United fans, for example, whose team will be playing in Europe’s second-tier tournament this season.
To mark the return of Mourinho, Klopp and co to our screens, eir is offering a free Premier League jersey to customers who sign up for a Tripleply or Quadplay bundle before August 31st.
Another major feather-in-the-cap for eir Sport is its exclusive rights to the 2019 Rugby World Cup. It may seem like a while away now but once the tournament rolls around, there’s likely to be a significant uptake in subscriptions.
Despite eir Sports’ strong offering, Sky Sports is still the place to see the most Premier League football this season; 159 live matches to be precise. This includes a number of 3pm Saturday kick-offs and Friday Night Football, which are new features this season.
Sky has also increased the viewing options available to Sky Sports subscribers with Ultra HD Premier League matches now an option for Sky Q customers and on-demand Premier League goals viewable through the newly-revamped Sky Sports app.
New customers who sign up for Sky TV before tomorrow will get a free 32” LGTV too!
Sky Sports Mix
In addition to Sky Sports 1-5, Sky has also just launched a new channel, Sky Sports Mix. And it's free to all Sky TV and Virgin Media TV customers, not just Sky Sports subscribers.
The channel’s initial focus will be on extreme surfing, NFL, WWE and live cricket. Most significantly for Irish sporting fans though, it will also be showing this year’s All-Ireland Hurling Final on September 4th.
Sports package prices
With each provider offering different features, prices and introductory discounts, it can be very difficult to make an informed decision as to which sport package – if any – is good value for you.
So here’s a transparent breakdown of the true cost of watching live Premier League football in 2016/17.
- eir Sport: free to eir broadband customers
- Sky Sports: €20 a month for 12 months, €40 a month thereafter
- Sky Sports Mix: Not available
- eir Sport: €25 a month, free to eir broadband customers (Sky TV customers must contact eir to add eir Sport)
- Sky Sports: €20 a month for 12 months, €37.50 a month thereafter
- Sky Sports Mix: Free to Sky TV subscribers
- eir Sport: Not available
- Sky Sports: €40 a month
- Sky Sports Mix: Free to Virgin Media TV subscribers
- eir Sport: €20
- Sky Sports: €34
- Sky Sports Mix: Not available
More coverage than ever before
This weekend, Sky Sports will be showing Spurs v Liverpool, Watford v Arsenal, West Brom v Middlesbrough and Man City vs West Ham; while eir Sport will be showing Hull v Man United.
With coverage like this, football fans are being treated to more options than ever before, but it's important to consider the true cost of live Premier League football before signing up.